the karoo heart land
 

 

IN A NUT SHELL WHY THE KAROO

South Africa and more specifically the Karoo is an excellent choice for tourists. Consider the following:

Exceptional Natural Beauty and Wildlife

South Africa’s scenic wonders are legendary. In the Karoo there are many. Natural wonders such as the Valley of Desolation and wildlife experiences such as the big five can be found in the Karoo. 

Diverse Experiences

In the Karoo you will experience the ultimate combo of nature, wildlife, culture, adventure and history.

Moderate climate

In sunny South Africa, our great weather invites you to enjoy the outdoors.

Friendly people

Find out how friendly our people are whilst you try your tongue at the 11 official languages!

Adventure

The Karoo offers numerous adventures. There is something for everyone from mountain walks to awesome gorge glides.

Affordable

In SA, you can afford luxury accommodation and have spending money for shopping left.

Follow the links below to read more about information essential to the visitor to South Africa.

Somebody once told me that the Karoo is so quiet that you can hear the earth spinning on its axis.  I decided to test this theory and on a cool, moonless and cloudless night I stopped my car on the side of the road 20 km south of Graaff-Reinet and lay down in the middle of the tarmac to listen.  True to legend, the stillness of the night was interrupted only by the faint whispering of the wind, evidence that the earth is turning on its axis.  However, it was the heavens above that were startling.  I felt as though I was looking through the Hubble telescope so many stars did I see.  As my eyes adjusted to the starlight I could see the deeper shadow of the mountain folds, each silver-edged leaf on the shrubs and the road running true to the horizon.  What a beautiful experience, and one I repeat as often as I can. Life in the Karoo is a struggle but that does not mean that the drab, arid plains of the region are lifeless.  On the contrary, the tough animals and plants, perfectly adapted to this environment, are everywhere in abundance.  Stop, take a few steps and a couple of minutes and look around you.  Within seconds you’ll have some serious-sized ants crawling over your foot and after a few paces you'll notice the huge variety of thorny succulents, hardy shrubs and tough grasses.  Animal spoor and droppings litter the ground.  After dark, with the aid of a powerful torch, glowing eyes are to be seen.  These are aardvark, porcupines, springhares, ground squirrels and duiker.  There are road signs every few kilometers warning of kudu crossing the road and the locals will tell you to travel carefully after dark as these elegant antelope have a habit of jumping onto fast moving cars. Rock monitors, mountain tortoises and cape cobras are also regular, if less dangerous, pedestrians.  The Camdeboo National Park, surrounding Graaff-Reinet, is the perfect place to experience the fauna and flora of the Karoo, with perhaps the single best location in the entire Karoo, the Valley of Desolation. Culturally, there are few towns of equal size to match the Eastern Cape’s oldest city, Graaff-Reinet.  Established at the end of the eighteenth century - and with more national monuments than any other place in South Africa - Graaff-Reinet is the perfect destination for a weekend.  There are beautiful hotels, elegant bed and breakfasts and quaint guest houses.  Restaurants abound, each with its own character and delicious menu.  My advice is to try the lamb, especially medium rare loin chops edged with a little crispy fat.  The museums, and there are enough to keep you busy for the day, are interesting and well maintained.  I love the art galleries, many displaying the contemporary works of brilliant artists who reside in nearby Nieu-Bethesda.  Others boast priceless pieces of some of South Africa’s most gifted masters.  Beautiful architecture, mostly Cape Dutch and Victorian, with the significant exception of the Cathedral, is everywhere.  It’s not just the facades that have been maintained and restored but the interiors too.  The deep, rich yellow of 200 year old yellowwood is found on the huge floor boards and massive roof beams in most of the older houses.  A wander through the antique stores, which offer quality furnishings mixed in amongst silly bric-a-brac, is always fun.  The Karoo evenings, at the end of an  enjoyable day, are a wonderful time to  relax on the warm stoep with a cool G&T. No doubt, at the end of the weekend you’ll return home with glowing memories, delightful souvenirs and fond goodbyes.


 

 

Graaff-Reinet is well remembered for the Valley of Desolation. The sheer cliff face is a geological phenomenon that is situated in the Karoo Nature Reserve. This 15 000 ha reserve surrounds the 200 year-old town of Graaff-Reinet.

The Valley of Desolation is the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years.

The Valley was declared a Scenic National Monument in 1935.

The columns of Dolerite rise 120 meters from the valley floor and in the distance the Karoo landscape stretches to the horizon.

The endless space spreading out in various directions has rendered many tourists speechless. It is a mecca for hikers, photographers and students of flora and fauna.

It is a very rewarding site after the steep drive up the mountain. A circular hiking trail of 1,5km (45 minutes) starts at the car park and leads to a wonderful view of Karoo landscape and the endless expanse of the surrounding Sneeuberg Mountains. This site is 17 km from town.

Late afternoon is the best time to enjoy the scenery, since the tinted sun saturates the reds of the rock towers & the black eagles roam the Karoo skies.


 


Arial view of Graaff-Reinet

 


 An aerial view of Graaff-Reinet taken from the toposcope on the way to the Valley of Desolation.

The natural horse shoe that the Sundays River forms around the town can clearly be seen. The Sunday's river was known as the river of grass and today it still has more grass than water due to the Nqweba Dam wall.

Paragliding enthusiasts from all over the world come to share the thermals of the vast Karoo skies with the resident Black Eagles and they take-off close to this area.




The Dutch Reformed Church

 

The Dutch Reformed Church is situated in the centre of town and is one of Graaff-Reinet's many characteristics. The church is a replica of Salisbury Cathedral.

The cornerstone was laid on 12 April 1886 and it then cost a staggering 7,500 pounds.

Bisset had been the architect and it is said to be one of the best examples of early Gothic style architecture in South Africa.

The church is to be found in the centre of town and it's the fourth church to be erected on the same spot.

It was built using local sandstone.

The ecclesiastical silver used by the church for many years, is exceptionally valuable and is today only viewable in pictorial form.

During Reverend Andrew Murray's term of office 14 valuable items of old Cape silver were acquired for use during the communion service.

The first church to be erected burnt down before completion in 1799. The second church was completed in September 1800 but it was torn down in 1822 due to ever-increasing size of the congregation. While the third church was being built open-air services were held. The third church was completed in 1823 and it had a thatched roof.

The church's steeple is 150 feet and the church is lighted throughout with stained glass windows.

The pulpit is an extremely handsome Gothic style structure. It has a flight of stairs on either side. The reading desk is 9 feet and 6 inches from the floor.

Another interesting point is the fact that the church has a chimney. The fireplace is situated in the vestry and has never been used.

The inaugural service of the Dutch Reformed Church occurred on the 11th of September 1887 and Professor de Vos delivered the sermon. 2,000 people attended the service that was held at 10:30.

The church is open to visitors from 9am -4pm Mondays to Fridays.


Reinet House

Graaff-Reinet is home to the well-known Reinet House with its famous water wheel and old vine. The Reinet House Museum is a Dutch Reformed Parsonage built in 1811. It is famous for its spacious rooms with high ceilings and yellow wood floors. Reinet House is a good example of Cape Dutch architecture and it is said to be one of the best example of H-shaped six-gabled buildings in Cape Dutch style. The famous Cape architect Louis Thibault has received claim for building the parsonage.

Reinet House was one of the earliest restoration projects in Graaff-Reinet. It fell into disrepair in the early 20th century, even losing it's gables. The building had fell into disuse after the death of Reverend Andrew Murray in 1904. In 1947 The Publicity Association brought the property for R4,000. Norman Eaton was the architect that restored it into a cultural history museum.

When a fire destroyed part of the museum in 1980, the contents were saved and the building restored once more. On display are dolls which were made during the First World War when luxuries such as toys could not be imported.

The Reinet House Museum forms part of a museum complex of four historic buildings. The other three buildings are the Urquart House, with its peach stone kitchen floor and farm implements, the Old Library , with the Lex Bremmer Fossil Collection, the William Roe photograhic collection & Robert Sobukwe exhibition and the Old Residency with the Anglo-Boer War memorabilia.

The Reinet House includes the Mill House, Wagon House & the famous Black Acorn grape vine. Rev. Charles Murray planted the vine in 1870 and it still bears fruit today. It was said to have been one of the largest vines in the world. The circumference once measures 3,1m.

Reinet House also served for many years as a students' residence.

Reinet House is also home to the locally brewed Withond ~ Witblitz

A walk down Parsonage Street will lead one from Reinet House to the Drostdy Hotel. One will wander past the Old Residency which houses the Jan Felix Lategan memorial gun collection. One also passes the John Rupert Little Theatre, the Monument of the "First Republic" and the Public Library that is situated in the premise that housed William Robertson's first government school in 1824.

Dr David Livingstone and his father-in-law Robert Muffat stayed at the Reinet House while the Murray Family was still living there.




The Drostdy Hotel

The Drostdy Hotel was completed in 1806 and was originally the seat of local government for 40 years. It has undergone many structural changes during its lifetime, but in 1977 was restored to its original pristine elegance and it is still in operation today. The present hotel is a little museum that cannot fail to fascinate even the most unhistorical-minded person.

It offers traditional Karoo meals in a unique setting of brass candle-stick chandeliers and many tourists have commented on its wonderful ambience.

It is interesting to note according to the Lantern ~ 1986 ~ that the Drostdy which was designed by Thibault was not built exactly to his specifications. It seems that the builder introduced a few variations, not unlike present day builders.

In 1847 Mr Ziervogel purchased the Drostdy and its property for R 7,720. When he moved to the Transvaal in 1873 no individual could afford to buy the furnished mansion and it was turned into a hotel.

The various owners made numerous alterations and by the turn of the 19th century, it was turned into a double-story building. In 1975 the Historical Homes and Oude Meester group brought the hotel and restored it to its former glory.


Stretch's Court

Stretch's Court is an unique street restored in its entirety. These houses were the homes of emancipated slaves in the mid-nineteenth century. Currently, the buildings are utilized by the Drostdy Hotel for accommodation. Captain Charles Lennox Stretch came to the Graaff-Reinet colony in 1819, during the fifth Frontier War. He was appointed as government land-surveyor. In 1855 he purchased land, divided them into plots and transferred the land to coloured labourers and emancipated slaves. A century later the cottages was in despair and the Historical Homes acquired them and restored them.


The Uquahart House

The Uquahart House is a fully restored house that is well-worth visiting. It houses the genealogical records for the area and it boast with a fine collection of Victorian furniture. It has a peach-stone kitchen floor and its polygram still entertains guests. This museum was once known as the Midlands Hotel. And the house is named after Mayor Uquahart that was in office from 1915 till 1931. This is the longest record for any mayor. In 1925 the Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor and King Edward VIII) came to visit Graaff-Reinet. During Mayor Uquahart’s term in office Graaff-Reinet had many important visitors such as Lord & Lady Buxton (1918).


Spandau Kop

Spandau Kop is another famous landmark in this region. The name is told to have originated from a German settler in the area drawing similarities between the kop guarding Graaff-Reinet in similar fashion to Spandau Prison guarding Berlin in Germany.


The Hester Rupert Art Museum


Magistrate Andries Stockenström donated a piece of land and six windows for a Dutch Reformed missionary church. The corner stone was laid on 24 April 1821 and the church was finished later in that year. In 1965 Dr Rupert prevented the tearing down of this building. He brought the property and restored it to its former glory. Once completed it was handed over to the Graaff-Reinet town council and it's now used as an Art Museum and named in honour of Dr Rupert's mother.

State president Mr C.R. Swart opened the building on 26 July 1966. This art museum boasts with over a hundred art works from leading South African artists, such as Maggie Laubser, Johannes Meintjies and Ernst de Jong. The artists donated their art pieces.


Victoria Town Hall


The building of the town hall commenced on 30 April 1910 and was completed on 1 May 1911. This red brick Renaissance style building makes a direct contrast with the Gothic style of the fourth Dutch Reformed Church that stands immediately in front of it.

The main hall measures 25,6m by 17,3m with stage facilities. It was opened by Henry Burton, the minister of native affairs, on 5 September 1911 at a grand gala evening where Handel's Hallelujah Chorus was preformed.

It was built to commemorate the "great and glorious reign of Queen Victoria". Before electricity was available, the hall was lit by a gas plant capable of providing 400 lights, the installation was the largest of its type in South Africa. John Rupert Theatre

The John Rupert Theatre was founded when Dr Rupert purchased and restored the old Coloured Missions Church in Parsonage Street, referred to as the "Groot London". This Congregational Mission Church was responsible for the founding of the first private school for the coloured community in 1801. This was Dr Rupert's second property that he purchased, restored and handed over to the town council. The building is named after his father. The theatre was inaugurated in January 1980. And performances still occur here today.


Pierneeff Museum


The original building was the second church that was built by the London Missionary Society in 1880. It was nicknamed the "Klein Londen". It was established to serve the needs of the South Sotho refugees who had fled to Graaff-Reinet to escape tribal battles. Since their language differed from that of the local inhabitants the London Missionary Society decided to minister to this group as a separate congregation. When the mission was closed the building deteriorated.

Today this building houses the Pierneeff


Old Library Building


This restored building once housed the local library. It was opened on 4 August 1847. By 1880 the library was solely English orientated. The public library was in operation on this premises from 1847 to 1982.

Today it houses the Lex Bremner fossil collection, the Rykie Pretorius costume collection and the Townley Johnson reproductions of Bushman art.


St James' Church


Reverend William Long founded the St. James church in 1845. On Sunday, 5 October 1873, Graaff-Reinet's first pipe organ was inaugurated in the St James Church. Although it was enlarged in 1883, the instrument remained in use until 1945.


Nqweba Dam


The Van Ryneveld's Dam was recently renamed to the Nqeba Dam. The dam's construction had started in 1921 and had been completed in 1925. It cost in the region of £450,000. The damwall is 381m wide and 32m high.

The Nqwebad Dam overflowed in 2008, the first time in nearly 20 years. The dam was bone dry in 2000.

Sunset or sunrise in this region is a photographer's paradise. It is rare to see the dam this full since the average rainfall in the region is between 280 - 340mm per year. Fishing & motorised sport on the dam only allowed with permit.

 


Hiking in Camdeboo National Park

me me me

Various options are available to hikers who visit the Camdeboo National Park. These include the Crag Lizard Trail, a 45 minute walk along the rim of the Valley of Desolation, Gideon Scheepers Trail (great views of Ncqueba Dam) the Eerstefontein Trail - a day walk which starts on the fringe of Graaff-Reinet, circling Wildebeeskom in the south western section of the park and finally, the overnight Driekoppe Hiking Trail - in the remote, rugged eastern section of the park. Another great hike is Compassberg - outside the Camdeboo National Park

Safety and security:

It is not advisable to hike alone – if you do, at least inform someone of your intention and at what time they should expect your return. If possible carry a cell phone to call for assistance if needed. Emergency telephone numbers should be noted and are provided on a notice board at the start of some of the trails.

Climate:

Camdeboo National Park is located in a summer rainfall, semi-desert area. Summers are very hot and winters can be very cold. During the summer months, visitors are advised to confine their activities to early mornings and late afternoons. Most of the average rainfall of 336 mm per annum occurs in summer and autumn, with a peak in March. Thunderstorms and high temperatures are common during the summer months while snowfalls can occur in the high-lying areas in winter.

The Crag Lizard Trail

Duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty: For all ages
Cost: Entrance Fee to National Park / Free with a Wildcard
Costs: Only conservation fees (a normal park entrance permit available at the Valley, Game Viewing Area entrance gate or the parks office in Bourke St) is required to walk this trail – R50 / person for international visitors or discounted to R20/person for South African visitors.

Starts at the Valley of Desolation parking area and extends for about 1.5km via the Valley viewpoints. There is an information board along the path between the parking lot and the first viewpoint which details proclamation of the Valley as a National Monument and includes a map to show the layout of trail-paths. The trail is marked with the Crag Lizard logo. The Valley of Desolation is a National Monument and the premier tourist attraction of the Camdeboo National Park.

From the parking lot hikers follow a cobbled pathway to the first Valley viewpoint, where there is an information panel that interprets the geological and paleontological history of the Karoo. Black eagles are often seen at close range and the high speed manoeuvres of the alpine swift, hold many a visitor spellbound! From here hikers progress to the second viewpoint which offers a breathtaking view of piled dolerite columns against the backdrop of the plains of Camdeboo and a timeless sense of wonder at a landscape said to be the product of the volcanic and erosive forces of nature, over a period of 100 million years. After the second viewpoint there is an option for a quick return to the car park, or to continue with the trail along the rim of the cliff edge, which provides even more impressive views of the rock formations. There are numerous precipices and crevasses along this section of the trail and due care needs to be taken especially if there are children in the group.

From the beacon at the extreme western edge of the cliff, the route winds back to the parking lot through moist mountain-top shrublands which abound with birdlife. Mountain reedbuck and kudu are frequently sighted by hikers along this section of the trail while cape mountain zebra are also occasionally seen. This is an easy route which does not require any particular skills and is suited to people of all ages.

The Gideon Scheepers Trial

Duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty: For all ages
Cost: Free of charge

The trail starts from the Gideon Scheepers Memorial roughly 3km outside of Graaff-Reinet on the Murraysberg Road. The trail zigzag’s up the foot of the mountain & levels out to give one a great view of Ncqueba Dam & the surrounding area. Numerous antelope can be encountered along the route, such as Kudu & Hartebeest.

The Eerstefontein Day Walk

Duration: 6 Hours
Difficulty: Option 1 & 2 - For all ages.
Option 3 – Fit hikers & children under supervision.
Cost: Free of charge
Costs: Only conservation fees (a normal park entrance permit available at the Valley, Game Viewing Area entrance gate or the parks office or at the Tourism Office in Church Street) is required to walk this trail. Free with a Wildcard.

This ‘pan-handle’ shaped trail starts and ends on the fringe of town (Bergendal 804m) at the Spandaukop gate. The route is clearly marked with an African hoepoe logo. There are three suggested options to walk this route, but hikers can in fact tailor-make the distance of their walk along the route. The first option is to walk to Eerstefontein (at the base of the ‘pan-handle’) and back, a distance of about five kilometres. This section of the route initially traverses some rather degraded land but this soon gives way to succulent thicket as one gains altitude towards Spandaunek at 935m. Following the route hikers experience a wide change in vegetation types and birds that are representative of both the Karoo and Eastern avifaunas make up a diverse and interesting eco-tonal mix. At Eerstefontein there are large shady trees, some benches and clean spring water that is safe to drink.

The second option extends your walk to Agterstefontein and bypasses the Camdeboo Environmental Education Center. Hikers should note that this facility is for the exclusive use of booked groups only. The return distance to the start from Agterstefontein is about 11 km and hikers who move quietly are assured of numerous wildlife sightings, including Kudu, Cape mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck, springbok, baboons and perhaps a bat-eared fox among many other species. Agterstefontein is an ideal spot to stop and rest, whether you plan to return to the start or continue with the whole trail. Like Eerstefontein there are large shady trees, benches and fresh water. No fires are allowed and hikers are expected to remove the remains of their picnic – please don’t bury anything, since baboons or other carnivores will soon excavate it!

Hikers who decide to do the entire full day route (a total distance of 16 km from start to end) continue with the trail climbing to the top of Akkediskrans along a twisting pathway between large dolerite boulders with many mountain plum, cabbage and shepards trees. From this point it is a fairly level walk along a doleritic terrace until dropping downhill into Wildebeeskom. From here the trail follows an old game path along the alluvial sediments of a flat-bottomed watershed which originates at Spandaunek – the base of the ‘pan-handle’. From here you are back on familiar territory and all that remains is the downhill slog back to your car and a welcome cold beer in your guest house or hotel.

The Driekoppe Trail

Duration: 6 Hours
Difficulty: Fit hikers & children under supervision.
Cost: Daily conservation levies plus R30 per person per night.

Hikers are reminded that it is illegal to collect firewood within a protected area. The bags of wood in the hut are for sale at ten rand (R10-00) per bag for your convenience. The amount is payable in cash, depending on your use when you drop the keys off back at the Park office in Bourke St.

This overnight trail is situated in the mountains of the Eastern section of the park. The diverse nature of the vegetation and topography in this section of the Park creates a landscape that is well suited to the interests of hikers. The Waaihoek Trail Hut may be booked for up to two consecutive nights and if you don’t have the energy to walk the trail, the hut may be reached by a high ground clearance vehicle. The route is marked with a Cape mountain zebra head logo on sign-plates at infrequent intervals, i.e. where the trail changes direction or at interim sites, to reassure you that you are on the right track. It follows the course of old fence lines or management tracks and may in places be indistinct due to infrequent use or above average rainfall.

This is a strenuous route, especially during the hot summer with a 510m gain in altitude from 784m at the start to 1284m at the overnight hut. Hikers are advised to carry an adequate supply of water in summer and make sure that they have warm clothing on hand during the winter. Weather conditions may change radically overnight! This trail is not suitable for small children. You may leave your vehicle at the trailhead, about one km from the Lootsfontein entrance gate. While your vehicle may be parked within a controlled area and be screened from view there is a risk of break-in to anything which remains unattended. Do not therefore leave anything of value in your vehicle. The preferable course of action is to arrange a drop off and pickup. The distance along the marked route from the trail head to the overnight hut is about 12km. This takes the average person about 5.5 hrs to cover. You should plan your route carefully in order to avoid the hottest hours of the day or being stranded in the dark. If you are able to map read you are welcome to follow any route of your own choosing. A detailed contour map of the area is available from our office at no extra charge to assist you with your navigation.

There are a number of very worthwhile shorter walks from the trailhut if you can find the time to squeeze something in. Alternatively you can book the hut for two consecutive nights and spend a day walking wherever you like as long as you do not cross any fences. You can follow the track past the water supply pump, to the top of Hanglip with its panoramic view of the Camdeboo plains or follow the stream bed below the hut down Wolfkloof to the waterfall. You can also walk a circular route by following the left hand turn off the track leading up to the hut. The rocky hill to the North East of the hut provides a stunning 360 degree ‘sundowner’ view of the landscape.

Wildlife that may be seen in this section of the park includes Cape mountain zebra (an endangered species), kudu, mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and baboons. The flatter bottom-lands support populations of springbok, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and ostrich. Duiker and steenbok are also common. There are no large game animals that pose a threat to human life or property. If you have to worry about something, keep a look out for snakes on hot days or other people, pursuing illegal activities of varying description!

Facilities in the hut include solar lights, three double bunk beds, four loose sleeping matt’s, a three legged pot and a braai grid. You should ensure that you have a few candles or a good torch to backup our lighting system in case it fails! No bedding is supplied – you have to take your own sleeping bag or bedroll. The trail hut is equipped with an energizer which provides a high voltage shock to anti-baboon devices on the roof capping. This is to prevent baboons damaging the roofs by pulling out the thatch. The energizer makes an annoying noise of continual clicks and may thus be switched off during the period of your occupancy of the hut. Please remember to switch it back on when you leave! Water is provided through a tap at the trail hut and in the shower. The supply tank is situated at the end of the access road about 500m to the south of the hut. You will need to open the gate valve at the bottom of the tank before water is available at the hut. Please close this valve before you leave. This is important as it insures that those who follow you will be guaranteed of a water supply, while the overflow from the tank provides water for the wildlife in the area.

There is cell phone reception at a number of sites along the route including the overnight hut. It is therefore advisable to make use of this technology if you are equipped, in the event of circumstances that require rescue. In such a case the following numbers may be of some help: Park Manager 082 901 3373 Reserve office (Mon – Fri / office hours) (049) 8923453              (049) 8923453      Emergency Services.

Please do not bury any rubbish in the Park. If you do some wild animal is sure to dig it up! We expect you to observe the rule that what you carry in you will carry out ie. Take only pictures – leave only footprints.

The Compassberg Trial

Duration: 8 Hours
Difficulty: Fit hikers
Cost: Donation @ Homestead of the farm Compassbergt.

The trail starts from the farm, adequately named, Compassberg, owned currently by the Sheards. Contacting them beforehand is advisable, Brenda’s number is 049-842 2420                    .

To reach the start of the hike, travel along the dirt road from Nieu-Bethesda, for approximately 30km. Once reaching the farm, head towards the mountain & park your vehicle at the second gate.

Follow the farm road till you reach a reservoir, enter through a small gate & head towards the mountain. The initial climb is very steep, but in grasslands. You zigzag up the mountain, reaching numerous little plains before once again heading up. ¾ of the way up the boulders start, be very weary of your footing. Do take along warm clothes, since the temperature drops dramatically. You climb from roughly 1700m to 2505m.

Along the way you’ll find rheebuck, steenbuck, kudu, klipspringer & a high probability of seeing the black eagles. No water is available, do take an adequate supply. Weather conditions change rapidly, caution for windy conditions.


With regards to all walking trails - Remember – leave only footprints, please remember to remove all litter.

For further information please contact:
Camdeboo National Park
P.O. Box 349
Graaff-Reinet, 6280
Tel: +27 (0)49 892 3453              +27 (0)49 892 3453   Fax: +27 (0)49 892 4252
E-mail: Camdeboo@sanparks.org
Website: www.sanparks.org

Aberdeen


Situated on the N9 between Graaff Reinet and the Garden Route, Aberdeen offers history for the mind and peace for the soul. The district is renowned for its wool and mohair, being the largest mohair producing area in South Africa. Aberdeen was founded in 1856. Named after the birthplace of Rev. Andrew Murray in Scotland, it was originally a farm called "Brakfontein". The deeds to the land were signed by Lord Charles Somerset in 1817. Aberdeen is a declared architectural conservation town and a veritable repository of styles including Victorian, Georgian, Karoo, German, Gothic Revival, Russian, Art Nouveau and Flemish Revival. Excellent examples of the ostrich baron dwellings can be seen. Strolling through this historic town one is able to discover its rich heritage. Today Aberdeen is a town attracting many newcomers, some of them refugees from the big cities! With the healthy climate and the slow pace of life, the town presents a relaxing alternative to the stresses and strains of modern life.

Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen

Attractions

  • The Ostrich Palaces – such as Pagel House, Greenfields & Villeria
  • Nederduitsche Gereformeerde (NG) Kerk & the Biblical Art Panels in the church hall + the olive tree in the grounds of the church, grown from a cutting taken from the Garden of Gethsemane
  • The Cemetery (with Boer War graves)
  • World Famous Painted Ostrich Eggs By Local Resident & Artist Carlos Garcez de Sousa
  • The Magistrate’s Court & Post Office

Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen
For more information visit the Aberdeen Publicity and Tourism Office website.

Here is eastern cape tourism offices web-sites

Do enjoy and if you need help call me on 0422961845

e-mail a1 kynaston@axxess.co.za

and I will be happy to help you plan your stay

 Don't forget to come to the coast ,jeffreys bay is a special place sandy beaches ,shells ,and is famous for its waves .

 

Aberdeen Tourism 049 846 0174 www.aberdeen.org.za

Addo Tourism 042 230 0562 www.greateraddo.com

Baviaans Tourism 044 923 1702 www.baviaans.co.za

Buffalo City Tourism 041 722 6015 www.eastlondontourism.co.za

Bushmans River Tourism 036 352 6253 www.bushmans.org

Cradock Karoo Tourism 048 8015000 www.cradocktourism.co.za

Eastern Cape Tourism 043 701 9600 www.ectourism.co.za

Gamtoos Tourism 042 283 0437 www.baviaans.net

Graaff-Reinet Tourism 049 892 4248 www.graaffreinet.co.za

Grahamstown Tourism 046 622 3241 www.grahamstown.co.za

 Kenton Tourism 046 648 2418 www.kentononsea.co.za

Lady Grey Tourism 051 603 0176 www.ladygreytourism.co.za

Maclear Tourism 045 932 1651 www.maclear.co.za

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism 041 585 8884 www.nmbt.co.za

Nieu Bethesda Tourism 049 841 1302 www.nieubethesda.info

Port Alfred Tourism 046 624 1235 www.port-alfred.co.za

Queenstown Tourism 045 839 2265 www.queenstown.co.za

Rhodes Tourism 045 974 9277 www.rhodesvillage.co.za

Somerset East Tourism 042 243 1333 www.somerseteast.co.za

St Francis Tourism 042 294 0076 www.stfrancistourism.co.za

Sunday's River Valley Tourism 042 234 0333 www.wildfees.co.za

Wild Coast Tourism 043 743 6181 www.wildcoastholidays.co.za

 

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the karoo heart land

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